Chelsea Smith


Get to Know Chelsea!

Q: How did your interest in ballet begin? When did this lead you to CPYB?
My interest in ballet started in kindergarten. I was always that child who would be dancing around the aisles of the supermarket and performing for anyone who would watch. During my childhood I was allowed to be pulled out of school to go to a special school for dance once a week which was a huge honor. When I turned 12, I knew I wanted to have more intense training and that summer I attended the summer program at CPYB for the first time. After the summer was over, I knew I wanted to come back for the next summer which eventually led myself and my mom to move to Carlisle so I could attend CPYB full time. I attended CPYB my entire high school career and thoroughly enjoyed my time there! 
Q: Do you have a special memory about Marcia that you would like to share?
I owe Marcia a lot as she is the one who fostered and grew my love of teaching. Marcia saw, even at 17, that I had the potential to be a great teacher and took me under her wing. Her guidance in the art of teaching and being a powerful teacher is super influential in my life. The instant I saw a student understand a step, and that ah ha! moment happen, I was hooked. I still feel this way today in my own classroom with my students. I could never say thank you enough for seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself and I hope that I can foster the potential I see in my students just like Marcia did with me. 
Q: So, where are you now? What does a day in your life look like today?
In May of 2016 I was accepted with Teach for America Oklahoma City/Lawton. Teach for America is a program that goes into lower income communities to ensure that all children are awarded quality education. This value of equal education for all (no matter what socio-economic class) is a value that is very important to me. I am currently teaching 5th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies on Ft. Sill Army Base in Lawton, Oklahoma.  All of my students are military children which is such an amazing and unique experience. My students are all different and growing into individuals. In addition to this I am in graduate school online at John Hopkins University getting my masters in elementary education with a specialty in reading. Aside from all of this, I am planning a wedding for June 2018 in Virginia where my fiance and I are originally from.  
Q: What did you learn during your time at CPYB that you still use in your daily career/life?
I learned many important life lessons in my time at CPYB that I still use today. I was attending Carlisle High School while dancing and was expected to stay on the A-B Honor Roll no matter how many hours I was dancing. This required my time management skills to be perfected. In addition to this, I had to understand the painful lesson that perfection doesn't come easily. Learning that a combination of determination, perseverance, extra help, and hard work are the only ways to become successful. 
Q: What words of wisdom would you share with current students?
I would tell current students to work hard even when they think that no one is watching, as a teacher is always aware of what is going on in the classroom. Teachers are there to help your progress and develop you into the best dancer you can be but you have to put in the work as well. The relationship between a student and a teacher is a two way street, and both parties have to put in equal work. So students, attend extra classes, work hard on the basics and try and soak up as much knowledge as possible from those around you.